Europe

Boris humiliated as Starmer surges in front on ‘most capable Prime Minister’ poll

Sir Keir Starmer calls Boris "worst possible leader"

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The news comes in the wake of a series of scandals that have left the Prime Minister and the wider Conservative Party rocked to the core. With the Tory party fresh on the scandal of holding numerous Christmas parties, new Government guidelines have been introduced to curb the spread of the Omicron variant, which Mr Johnson warns is arriving like a “tidal wave”.

The Ipsos MORI Political Monitor reveals that Sir Keir beats Mr Johnson on a number of Prime Ministerial attributes in the eyes of the public.

When asked which characteristics each of the Labour and Conservative leaders hold, Britons are more likely to say Sir Keir understands the problems facing Britain (50 percent vs. 43 percent for Mr Johnson), and is a more of a capable leader, winning by 44 percent to 37 percent.

Remarkably, this is the first Labour lead on this measure with the pollster since Gordon Brown versus David Cameron all the way back in January 2008.

Mr Johnson beats Sir Keir when it comes to being patriotic with the opinion swinging 68 percent for the Prime Minister versus 43 percent for the Labour leader.

On the question of personality, the flamboyant Prime Minister also won this opinion by 67 percent to 25 percent for the leader of the opposition.

However, the public are also more likely to apply negative attributes to Mr Johnson such as being out of touch with ordinary people (58 points vs. 27 points) and being more style than substance (46 percent vs 21 percent.

The PM’s net favourability is also now down to -37, in the ballpark of Theresa May’s at the end of her premiership.

Both Sir Keir and Mr Johnson are equal when it comes to giving confidence in Britain’s future.

Speaking of the results, Gideon Skinner, the Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI said: “Although a bit of the shine is coming off, Keir Starmer is still doing relatively well in public perceptions for a new opposition leader – and he’s liked among older voters as well as the young.”

He added: “He’s building an image of a capable leader with sound judgement rather than on his personality, but still has work to do to convert his popularity into support for his party.”

With the scandals rocking the Tory Party dominating the headlines, many saw the crisis as an opportunity for the Labour leader to shine.

Whereas many have called for Mr Johnson to resign in light of the fallout from the scandals, Sir Keir stopped short of demanding the PM hand in his notice during the first PMQs following the revelation of the so-called Christmas party tape.

However, there was criticism as to Sir Keir’s lack of robust authority over the issue.

When examining the opening question on the Christmas-gate affair by Sir Keir, Greg Evans, a political commentator from Indy100, said: “In all honesty, a pretty tame opening exchange from the pair, given the magnitude of the topic.”

When summing up the debate at PMQs, Mr Evans said: “What was supposed to be a vintage PMQs session actually turned into something a little disappointing.”

He added: “Starmer did ask a lot of the right questions and had some great lines but it all felt a little meek and dare we say, conservative.”

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Speaking of the missed opportunity, Mr Evans said: “Johnson was there for the taking and, although the PM definitely struggled and wasn’t his usual free-flowing self, he’ll feel that he got off lightly.”

Fresh polling from Redfield & Wilton finds that 63 percent of Britons think Mr Johnson should resign as prime minister and estimates that Labour has surged ahead of the government by four percentage points, their biggest since the 2019 general election.

Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,013 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone.

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